It might seem like a guaranteed four-year, $120 million contract offer from the Charlotte Hornets would be enough for an athlete to sign on the dotted line with no questions asked. Gordon Hayward, it turns out, needed a little nudge.
According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, Jordan called Hayward on Friday night as rumors circulated about a sign-and-trade that would have sent the Indianapolis native to the Indiana Pacers for $100 million. The call from Jordan helped close the deal and put the Butler product on a path to Charlotte.
It's not the first time the Hornets have tried to lure Hayward over.
In 2014, Jordan had the then-Utah Jazz star signed to an offer sheet worth a reported $63 million for four years. During the prior season, Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Six years and one major ankle injury later, a 30-year-old Hayward is finally on his way to Charlotte after averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. The forward opted out of a $34.2 million salary with the Celtics to reach free agency.
Amazingly, it paid off.
Gordon will earn an average of $30 million over each of the next four seasons rather than take a slightly larger payday for 2020-21 and test free agency ahead of his age-31 season.
And it still took a six-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer to call him to complete the deal.
The combination might make Hayward the most successful free agent in the league this offseason.